Egyptian language

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Egyptian language,

extinct language of ancient Egypt, a member of the Afroasiatic family of languages (see Afroasiatic languagesAfroasiatic languages
, formerly Hamito-Semitic languages
, family of languages spoken by more than 250 million people in N Africa; much of the Sahara; parts of E, central, and W Africa; and W Asia (especially the Arabian peninsula, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and
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). The development of ancient Egyptian is usually divided into four periods: (1) Old Egyptian, spoken and written in Egypt during the IV to VI dynasties of the Old Kingdom (3d millennium B.C.); (2) Middle Egyptian, a form of the language noted for its great literature and current from the XI dynasty (beginning 2134 B.C.) to the reign of Ikhnaton (c.1372–1354 B.C.) in the XVIII dynasty; (3) Late Egyptian, which was used from the time of Ikhnaton through the XX dynasty of the 12th cent. B.C.; and (4) demotic, dating from the late 8th cent. B.C. to the 5th cent. A.D.

The ancient Egyptian language first used a hieroglyphichieroglyphic
[Gr.,=priestly carving], type of writing used in ancient Egypt. Similar pictographic styles of Crete, Asia Minor, and Central America and Mexico are also called hieroglyphics (see Minoan civilization; Anatolian languages; Maya; Aztec).
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 form of writing that underwent several stages of development in the course of the centuries. From hieroglyphics evolved an Egyptian cursive handwriting known as hieratic; and from hieratic, a simplified script called demotic, in which was recorded the form of the Egyptian language also called demotic. Egyptian hieroglyphics and the styles of writing derived from them are associated with pagan civilization. Their extinction followed the victory of Christianity over the pagan religions.

Some scholars regard Coptic (see CoptsCopts
, the native Christian minority of Egypt; estimates of the number of Copts in Egypt range from 5% to 17% of the population. Copts are not ethnically distinct from other Egyptians; they are a cultural remnant, i.e.
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) as a fifth period of ancient Egyptian, although others classify it as a different language descended from the ancient tongue. If Coptic, which is written in a modified version of the Greek alphabet, is considered a continuation of the Egyptian language, a written record of the latter may be said to cover an unbroken span of at least 40 centuries, the longest such record known for a language.

See also Rosetta Stone under RosettaRosetta
, former name of Rashid
, city (1986 pop. 51,789), N Egypt, in the Nile River delta. The city once dominated the region's rice market; rice milling and fish processing are the main industries of modern Rashid. Founded in the 9th cent.
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See studies by A. Bakir (1983, 1984); A. H. Gardiner, Egyptian Grammar (3d ed. 1957); N. M. Davies, Picture Writing in Ancient Egypt (1958); E. W. Budge, Egyptian Language (8th ed. 1966).

References in periodicals archive ?
The language spoken by the crowds is largely based on Sir Alan Gardiner's Egyptian Grammar, along with the works of James Allen and Raymond Faulkner, among others.
My views are presented in "On the Nature of the Hieroglyphic Script," Zeitschrift fur agyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 121 (1994): 17-36, and in "Champollion's Ideogram and Saussure's signe linguistique," Orientalia 64 (1995): 1-11, applied in Fundamentals of Egyptian Grammar, I (Norton, Mass.
It teaches you how to write the Egyptian alphabet, explains the rules of the Egyptian grammar and contains full English-Egyptian and Egyptian-English dictionaries, in addition to a Talking Dictionary, which demonstrates the correct pronunciation of some common words and phrases.
Over time, the paired items written and incised innumerable times in hieroglyphic and then hieratic script on a variety of surfaces became formulaic and involved abbreviated spellings and paraphrases, as Gardiner shows in the Excursus of his Egyptian Grammar devoted to the funerary cult (17o73).
15) Ultimately, although Phelps likely affected Smith's approach and the details of the final product, the Mormon founder's vision is clear in the outlines and scope of the Egyptian grammar project.
What a story, with Euclid and Robespierre as walk-ons, Abu Simbel and the Piazza Navona as stage sets, and a single spylike meeting between Napoleon and Champollion, just after the Emperor's escape from Elba in 1815 and just before Waterloo cancels his subscription, during which they discuss Egyptian grammar.
Since the 1996 publication of the first German edition of Friedrich Junge's Late Egyptian grammar, the book has become a standard fixture in many university classrooms and private reading groups.
The final section on texts begins with a short summary of Middle Egyptian grammar by James Allen.
Nor is there any reason to doubt the author's skills and competence in matters of Egyptian grammar and Egyptological and general linguistics.
A second way in which the present work stands apart from most of what one finds written on Old and Middle Egyptian grammar in recent times is the complete rejection of substantival (nominal) verb forms as a distinct morphological category (pp.
Strudwick's extensive and well-referenced introduction is particularly useful for students; he has even managed to describe briefly the problem of "second tenses" in Egyptian grammar in a straightforward fashion.
While studies on all aspects of Middle Egyptian grammar are legion and often become quite redundant, other phases of Egyptian language, including Old Egyptian, are less well represented.

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